GILGIT/islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that having put the national economy on the right course, his next focus will be to ensure rule of law in the country and take the “powerful criminals” to task, who had been blackmailing the national institutions.

“Now, I will personally oversee the state institutions to establish rule of law in the country and bring under law the powerful criminals who are trying to blackmail them. Insha Allah, in the coming days, you will see whose legs shake and whose forehead sweats,” the prime minister said while addressing the 73rd Independence Day Parade of Gilgit-Baltistan here at the FCNA helipad ground.

Earlier, before recitation of the verses from the Holy Quran, the national anthem was played, also voiced by the audience while waving the Pakistani flags. The contingents of Pakistan Armed Forces, Pakistan Rangers, Gigilt-Baltistan Scouts and GB Police took part in the parade and also saluted the prime minister.

It was on this day (November 1) in 1947, when the GB people led-by Gilgit Scouts stood against Dogra Governor Brigadier Ghansara Singh and arrested him. They also announced liberation of Gilgit-Baltistan from the Dogra rule and hoisted the National Flag of Pakistan.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur, said in the Islamic history, the Muslims fought and ruled successfully until they were ditched by the traitors like Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq just for their personal gains.

He said the Holy Quran had ranked the hypocrites even below the infidels for their conspiring role because they hurt more. “Today, we are seeing Pakistan’s Mir Jafar, Mir Sadiq and Mir Ayaz Sadiq. These are the people, who are speaking the language of Narendra Modi,” he remarked.

‘You will see whose legs shake and whose forehead sweats’

Imran Khan, who wore the traditional white Gilgit cap with peacock plume, told the audience that the way Pakistan had conducted after the Pulwama incident was lauded by the world leaders but he (Ayaz Sadiq) alleged that Pakistan acted under pressure, which was also the electioneering slogan of Narendra Modi.

He viewed that the sole objective of such tirade was just to pressure and blackmail the government to get an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) for their corruption of billions of rupees.

“I want to tell my nation today, Imran Khan will never forgive these looters. The judiciary was good when they were acquitted in the Hudabiya case but when a five-member bench ruled against him, who has absconded abroad, for money laundering, then it (judiciary) turned bad (for them),” he commented.

He said the so-called democratic people were trying to discredit the Pakistan Army and the judiciary.

Referring to his maiden address after taking over the office, the prime minister said he had forecast that the opposition parties would unite against him as his 24-year struggle was for purging the country of corruption. He viewed that the interests of Pakistan and those of the opposition were opposed to each other.

He said they tried to blackmail him for alleged election rigging, economic crisis, COVID-19, and even FATF (Financial Action Task Force) related legislation despite knowing the Indian efforts to put Pakistan in its blacklist.

“Now they have pointed guns at the Pakistan Army, the Army Chief and ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) Director General. They are speaking against the Army Chief and the ISI Chief, (and) it means I had chosen them rightly. My selection was totally right and I specially thank Allah for it. If these looters are speaking against them, it means they are good people,” he remarked.

Imran Khan said a strong military was inevitable for the security of a nation and to prevent the country from the situation faced by other Muslim countries like Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq due to the wars.

He said India had got the most extremist, anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan government, which was focused on the supremacy of Hindutva, marginalizing the Muslims in India and Kashmir through enforcing multiple discriminatory laws.

Considering the very facts, he said, it was essential to have a strong army because it were the security forces which boldly stood against terrorism. Every other week, the security personnel sacrificed their lives in terror incidents in tribal areas, Balochistan and even Karachi.

He said the Indian government was not only trying to destabilise Pakistan through terror incidents rather by fanning sectarianism too as had been disclosed by Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.  However, he appreciated the intelligence agencies for thwarting all Indian designs.

Imran Khan, who is the first prime minister to attend the GB Independence Day celebrations for consecutive two years, assured to join them across his five-year term. The prime minister, who also visited the Martyrs’ Monument and laid a wreath there, congratulated the GB people on the Independence Day and paid tribute to the sacrifices by GB Scouts who liberated the region from the Dogra Rule.

He also extended greetings to the people over his government’s decision of granting the GB a provisional provincial status following the elections. The decision, which would fulfill their longstanding demand, had been made within the perimeters of the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions, he added.

Highlighting the picturesque beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan, the prime minister said it was rich with the world’s unique mountain treks. He declined to announce any development package for the region owing to the Election Commission’s restriction due to the upcoming elections.

However, he assured the people that his government was resolved to uplift the backward areas, including GB, Balochistan, western districts of Punjab and interior Sindh, and their people.

GB Governor Raja Jalal Hussain, in his address, said the people of GB were patriot and loved Pakistan, besides feeling proud to be called as Pakistani citizens. He thanked the prime minister for his government’s decision to grant the GB the provisional provincial status fulfilling the longstanding demand of the people, who had been demanding their region to be declared as Pakistan’s fifth province to get equal rights and opportunities. Criticising the opposition parties for targeting the army, he said the GB people stood by the security forces.

He said during the Gujranwala gathering, the opposition parties had opposed the provincial status to the GB which would be avenged by the people through ballot in the upcoming polls.

GB interim-Chief Minister DIG (retired) Haji Mir Afzal thanked the prime minister for attending the Independence Day celebrations and greeted the nation on the occasion. He also thanked the Force Commander of Pakistan Army for the parade. He said some 74 years ago in November, the GB people liberated the region from the Dogra rule.

He said the GB people would stand by the Pak Army whenever they would require any sacrifice. He requested the prime minister for announcing a package for uplift of health, education and other infrastructure of the GB.